Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' Archer hopes for big moment against Indians

Chris Archer, a fifth-round pick by the Indians, is looking forward to making his season debut for the Rays in the city where he signed his first contract.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times (2012)

Chris Archer, a fifth-round pick by the Indians, is looking forward to making his season debut for the Rays in the city where he signed his first contract.

CLEVELAND — The last time Rays RHP Chris Archer was at Progressive Field, it was in July 2006, and he was a 17-year-old Indians fifth-round pick signing his first professional contract.

Archer watched the Indians take batting practice, and he and his father, Ron, took in the game from the front row.

Archer, 24, will have an even better view today. He was called up to make his season debut for the Rays in a place where it all started for him professionally.

"I always envisioned myself playing here," Archer said. "And to come back and actually play on the other side is pretty cool, just to maybe show them what they're missing out on."

Archer showed his potential last year in two impressive stints with the Rays, but he had to wait his turn as a shin bruise briefly set him back. Now he is the fourth member of the Triple-A Durham rotation to be called up, after RHP Jake Odorizzi, LHP Alex Torres and RHP Alex Colome.

"I think it's awesome," Archer said. "Because (manager Joe Maddon and executive vice president Andrew Friedman) said that we're going to need to use 7-8 guys, and to already use eight, and effectively, it's amazing."

Archer said he used the time in Durham, where he went 5-3 with a 3.96 ERA in 10 starts, to improve on the things the Rays wanted him to work on, specifically fastball command, utilizing his changeup and controlling the running game. He had a few setbacks because he was hit in the right leg by comebackers in back-to-back games, one off his shin and the other off his hip flexor. But he said he's healthy and excited to finally get his turn.

"It's a sense of relief, because I'm here," Archer said. "I feel like I'm at home; the guys fully embraced me whenever I came in today. And I feel like I've also continued to get better as well, so I feel even more comfortable than I did in March."

Maddon said Archer is physically and mentally ready for the big leagues, but the Rays want him to work on how he utilizes his weapons.

"He gets it, he knows that his time will come and he knows he's going to be here for a long time," Maddon said. "And he also knows he's got to do things the right way. He's very accountable. So I really believe he's going to pitch pretty well right now."

ROSTER SHUFFLE: As impressive as RHP Alex Colome was in his big-league debut Thursday, earning the win against Miami, he was optioned to Durham on Friday. The Rays brought up LHP Jeff Beliveau to provide depth to the bullpen.

Maddon said RHPs Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney, as well as LHP Jake McGee were not available Friday, partly thanks to pitching so often during the five-game winning streak.

"The bullpen guys are a little bit weary right now," Maddon said.

Beliveau was called up for one day May 19 in Baltimore but did not pitch, and he will likely get sent down after Friday's game to make room for Archer. But Beliveau has intrigued Maddon since his acquisition from the Rangers April 16.

"He sounds pretty interesting to me," Maddon said. "A left-handed pitcher that gets out lefties and righties, a strike-thrower, and good stuff, good makeup guy."

CATCHING ON: With Triple-A Durham C Chris Gimenez placed on the disabled list with a left hand sprain, the organizational depth at the position is suddenly thin. "Yeah, right, no (kidding)," Maddon quipped. The Bulls catchers are C Craig Albernaz and C Juan Apodaca, acquired from the Rangers in April, neither with big-league experience.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Rays' Archer hopes for big moment against Indians 05/31/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 31, 2013 11:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]